Friday, March 23, 2012


Thanks so much to Nikki and Katelyn for publishing The Chess Teacher at The Vehicle!

                                The Chess Teacher
                                by MaryAnne Kolton

           Lisa lay on the sofa, crying for a long time.  Was this her fault?  Had she given him some sign?  Encouraged him in some way?  It was true she had thought he was cute.  Did he somehow  sense that and take it as some kind of an invitation to do what he did?


No one had asked Lisa if she wanted to go to Utica and live with complete strangers for the summer.  Her mother had sold her to the D’Angelo family.  Three hundred dollars for the entire summer.
 One of her mom’s best friends’ daughters.  A mother’s helper job.  Some babysitting, some keeping the kids busy when their mom, Sharon, was otherwise occupied.
  No one stopped to consider that it was to have been a special summer for Lisa and her friends  since they would be starting high school in the fall, splintering a group that had maintained an affinity since first grade.  Lisa pulled her long blonde ponytail to the front of her neck and examined a few split ends as they drove the last few boring miles to Utica.   
When they pulled into the apartment complex where the D’Angelos lived, Lisa tried again.
“Mom, I could take the bus home on the weekends.  What would be wrong with that?”
“Sharon and Gino might need you to babysit on the weekends.  That’s what’s wrong with that, plus there is no way you are taking a seventy-mile bus trip by yourself.  You’re fourteen years old.  It’s not like you’re doing this for free, Lisa.  Think of all the money you’ll have to spend on whatever you want when summer is over.”
“Yeah, three hundred dollars for my entire summer.  Big deal.”

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cycles Of Waiting: An Interview With Siobhan Fallon

Many thanks to Shana at Her Circle for her swift publication if this interview!  I love Siobhan.  How can you not?

CYCLES OF WAITING:                                                              

Siobhan Fallon is a remarkable writer and mother, who also happens to be a military wife. She survived several difficult years of living on insulated Army bases while her husband was deployed. Most recently she capably dealt with a move from the Middle East to Falls Church, Virginia during Christmas week - while battling a killer sinus infection, caring for a sick child and looking for a rental house. Her first novel, You Know When The Men Are Gone (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam) is a collection of intelligent, heart-wrenching, unforgettable stories. (MaryAnne Kolton)

MaryAnne  My first question is going to be a compound one. Who are you? Where did you grow up?  Brothers and sisters? What was your family like? What drew you to reading as a child? Please let us know a bit about the "you" before you became the wife of a soldier.

Siobhan  I come from a family of bartenders. My father was born in Ireland and came over to New York at sixteen, working his way through high school in Queens, doing a stint in the Army during Vietnam, then settling down when he married my mother. They chose to live in the small town of Highland Falls, about an hour north of New York City, because my father fell in love and purchased a bar/restaurant there, the South Gate Tavern. Part of this particular Irish pub’s charm is that it stands right outside of the front, or south, gate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. And in a small town like ours, where everyone has gone to school with everyone else, the South Gate Tavern has become a large part of my family’s identity.

 I credit bartending with teaching me as much about story writing as my MFA. There’s a tradition in my family of sitting around the kitchen table with hot cups of tea and sharing whatever wild happenings unfolded at the bar the night before, and we had to vie for the best hook to get our listeners’ attention, the best delivery and story arc.There are the mundane moments to bartending — handing people their pints as they watch Army football games, refilling the hand soap in the ladies room, washing glasses until your knuckles ache from the hot water. But there are a lot of transformations as well, from the shift of a mellow after-work-crowd to the take-it-to-the-face college kids or soldiers, to the fellow in the bar stool in front of you slowly changing from sober to drunk. People of course have a tendency to reveal secrets, to say and do incredible things when they have been freed by a touch of alcohol. The bartender is the observer, the person who tries to keep things easy, handing out vodka or conversation or music on the jukebox, but she is never truly part of the party, she is outside of it all, aware and ready.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lost In Thought Issue 2

This is stunning! JLD and I both have stories in this issue.   Thank you Kyle Schuder.
issue preview
Each issue of Lost in Thought pairs a writer with either a photographer or illustrator. The result is 84 pages of great fiction, photography and illustration.
Print: $18.00
Free Digital with Print Purchase!
Digital: $3.00

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Perfect Family House

Many thanks to Shana at Her Circle Magazine for publishing this story.  "Kate" is my friend.

A Perfect Family House
by MaryAnne Kolton

Kate begged off carpooling that day and cancelled a dentist appointment.  She waited until her two oldest, Michael, age six, and Amanda, age four, had been picked up by an obliging neighbor, to be delivered to the grade school and pre-kindergarten.  At nine o’clock, she gave Lyssa, her eleven-month-old daughter, a bottle laced with two-milligrams of crushed Xanax, held her over her shoulder smoothing her back until she slept.  As she carried her up the stairs, Kate sang softly into the sweet smelling spot on her baby’s neck just below her seashell ear,
“Pack up all your care and woe, here we go, night, night Lyssa.”
She placed her in her crib, laying her carefully on her back and then, with just a moment’s hesitation, placed the palm of one hand over the baby’s mouth and held her nose closed with the other.  Lyssa squirmed for a second or two and lay still.  Kate covered her, brushed a few silky, dark hairs back from her baby’s forehead and walked from the nursery down the back staircase to the kitchen.